Christmas in Las Vegas can truly be a magical experience. The holiday season draws everyone back into their childhood memories, especially when folks have kids of their own or are lucky enough to retain a childlike wonder at the lights and music. Several locations have become traditions for families during this time of year, particularly when the lights come on for the first time in celebration of the season and, in one case, when snow gently falls as you gaze up in wonder at the huge Christmas tree. This is a time when photo ops are around every corner and when the wonder of the festive season truly comes to light.
A Cactus Garden Wonderland
For 20 years, Ethel M Chocolates has presented a gift of wonder to the community. Thursday, November 13, 2014, marks the 21st Anniversary of the Cactus Garden Lighting, when the sparkling lights and inflatables come to life with the turn of a switch. Local radio celebrity, Mercedes, will be officiating, with performances by local choirs, MOSAIC and an appearance by our past mayor, Oscar Goodman. The experience can only be described as magical, as the scent of chocolate from the chocolate factory fills the air and the darkness is lit by over half a million twinkling lights. Walk the pathways and marvel at the festive atmosphere and the experience of all the cacti shimmering in the evening air. Visit the M&M shop, take the self-guided factory tour – describing the history and future of chocolate, sustainability, Mars’ responsibility toward cocoa farmers and how Mr. Mars created the factory and shop in honor of his mother, Ethel (M).
Taste a sample of pure, preservative-free deliciousness, prepared by Henderson’s own chocolatier over the past 34 years, and toast the evening with a cup of the best hot chocolate in town. This has been a tradition for, quite literally, generations of residents and guests; so be sure to take a stroll between the 13th of November and the 31st of December to make this part of your holiday experience. The event is free, and the lights are on from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The only cost to attend the evening of the lighting is your gift of an unwrapped, new toy to be delivered to the factory store. All toys will go to HELP Southern Nevada for underprivileged kids and donations will be accepted until Christmas eve. Oh, by the way, Santa will be there for photo ops Thursdays through Sundays, right up to Christmas eve when he has to leave to deliver his gifts.
Ethel M Chocolates & Botanical Cactus Garden, 2 Cactus Garden Drive, Henderson NV 89014
Town Square Holiday Celebration
There is something miraculous about snow in the desert. Once again, Town Square transforms into a Winter Wonderland on Thursday, November 13, 2014, Their beloved Holiday Tree Lighting Spectacular parade heralds the arrival of Santa in a horse-drawn carriage, to perform his Christmas ritual of photos with children and pets in his house. Snow will gently fall as the lights come on, and the streets will become vintage Norman Rockwell-themed vistas, as vignettes are presented to the general public. Nightly snowfalls are promised at 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. each evening from November 15 through December 24th. As you gaze up in wonder at the huge, 45-foot Christmas tree, enjoy the rare feeling of the flakes on your face, while the sounds of seasonal music fill your ears. Vintage, magical and unique, if this isn’t yet a holiday tradition for your family, it will be after your first experience.
6659 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119